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The Biggest Chinese Restaurant in the World

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Colleen Sheehy

on 23 April 2014

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Transcript of The Biggest Chinese Restaurant in the World

Owner, Qin Linzi
Believes that the workers are the foundation of her business and so takes care of her workers
"Happiness in food and happiness in service. "
Former teacher, opened restaurant with brother
In the 60s, 70s, 80s, people did not have enough to eat and couldn't afford culinary culture. Now people want the whole experience.
Keys to Success
Starting a business is hard, maintaining a business is even harder.
Feedback and continuous improvement crucial to improvement and future success
Must treat every customer with care
Every employee must have autonomy in their work.
Scale of Business
The restaurant is set on 14 acres,
Over 100 private dining rooms, pavilions, halls, Imperial Hall, and various stages for lives performances.
Serves 5,000 diners daily and employs over 1,000 people, including 300 chefs in five kitchens.
West Lake employs 300 chefs across 5 kitchens and over 1,000 employees total.
Many are paid low wages
~20 employees leave per month because of West Lake's poor pay
Employees can live in restaurant-owned dorm-style housing
Many work to support their families in other provinces
Almost all have ambitions beyond West Lake.
Traditional and Non-Traditional Business Model
Not patriarchal leadership
Compartmentalization of activities
Network of personal contacts
Financial ‘levers’

"Your work reflects your character. If you are constantly locked in the kitchen, you'll become boring and tired. I get them [employees] out to see new things often."--Qin Linzi
The Biggest Chinese Restaurant
in the World

Greg Sweetman,
Colleen Sheehy,
Simone Kettemann,
Jocelyn Tellez,
Jose Linardi
Full transcript